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New York state agencies can not ask about citizenship

An executive order was signed Friday, Sept. 15, forbidding state authorities from inquiring about a person's status in the U.S. The policy set forth by Governor Cuomo goes into effect immediately. Any New York state police officer, state law enforcement agency and other state agencies such as schools may not inquire about a person's citizenship status. 

Under the new guideline, state officials are not allowed to reveal a person's immigration status to federal authorities. Certain exceptions exist to the rule, like in situations involving a law enforcement investigation. The governor hopes to reduce what he calls unfair targeting by law enforcement. He mentions the fact that New York has a rich history of accepting and integrating immigrants, and he hopes that his executive order will further the tradition. 

Police officers will not be able to ask a witness or a victim of a crime about their immigration status. The state's higher education systems are also barred from reporting the residency status of international students with federal authorities. The order does not extend to municipal police departments. 

The New York governor's order has both supporters and detractors. Certainly the policy will be a comfort to individuals who are reporting crimes or have been a victim to a crime, in knowing that their citizenship status will not be questioned. Any person who finds that state agencies are in violation of the new order may wish to report it. Persons who wish to get assistance with citizenship issues may choose to contact an immigration attorney for help with their case. 

Source: CBS New York, "Cuomo Bars NY State Police From Asking People About Immigration Status", Sept. 15, 2017

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